Newslaundry Podcast

How should readers, viewers and journalists interpret the sudden ending of a scheduled interview and the interviewee’s midway departure, in the face of uncomfortable questions posed by the interviewer?

There are two possible ways in which people could look at the situation at hand. And this, in turn, depends upon two factors: the gravitas of the questions asked and the sincerity of the journalist.

While it is possible that the questions posed were either sensational or inconsequential leading to the interviewee’s frustration and her/his inadvertent departure, it is also possible that the questions posed were so blunt and to the point that the inability of the interviewee to come up with the correct answer forced her/him to flee.

Newslaundry had scheduled an interview with senior RSS functionary and Muslim Rashtriya Manch chief Indresh Kumar on Wednesday, July 12. The interview began at the scheduled time. By the third question of the interview, things got a little out of hand. The question asked was, “Why was cow vigilantism being used as a tool to impose one’s personal beliefs onto those of the others?”

In response, the senior RSS leader gave several arguments to support his claims about the significance of protecting cows and its value to the world’s religious order. But, alas, the senior leader had little time for rebuttals. But before we get there, let’s look at some of his arguments. Kumar said:

1.  About 90 of the world’s population survives on cow milk.

2. Unlike other living beings who produce toxins as a byproduct of the food they consume, the cow is the only animal capable of assimilating all toxins into life-nurturing products. Citing examples, Kumar said while the cow’s milk was consumable, its dung was rich in energy and its exhaled breath contained oxygen.

3. It is only the cow’s meat that isn’t just referred to as meat but is rather known as ghosht (meat) or beef, while everything else is categorised as meat only. And the reason behind such nomenclature, according to Kumar’s logic, is the poisonous nature of the cow’s meat.

4. There is a huge difference between meat and ghosht (meat). Prophet Mohammad had said cow milk is life’s elixir but its meat is poisonous. This is why those who consume meat are in contempt of Islamic principles.

Kumar went on an incessant monologue as he shared his views on the matter, leaving no room for questions or clarifications. Nevertheless, when he was asked about the scientific basis of his claims, the vexed Kumar asked for the discontinuation of the interview. All attempts to appease him were in vain. The events following his outburst were more dramatic than one would expect.

It is only fair that you watch the interview and take a call on the authenticity of this senior RSS leader’s claims—who dislikes being questioned and would rather run to save face.

Direct download: NL_Interviews__Indresh_kumar.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:34pm IST

This week, Rajyasree Sen and Abhinandan Sekhri discuss Jagga Jasoos, the latest in the Planet of the Apes franchise, War for the Planet of the Apesand the Ava DuVernay-helmed A Wrinkle in Time. The two also weigh in on the IIFA Awards, the new ad Selfie With Didi, and the cuts in Amartya Sen's documentary The Argumentative Indian. And of course, the FIR against AIBAll this and more, discussed and dissected in this episode of the Awful and Awesome Entertainment Wrap.

For reference:

1. Selfie with didi

2. A wrinkle in the time

3. The Media Rumble

Direct download: The_Awful__Awesome_Episode-52.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:52pm IST

Samar Khan and Rahul Puri are back with their weekly round-up of sports. They discuss Wimbledon winner Roger Federer, who Samar feels is a recipient of some divine luck. However, Rahul thinks that he was far better than anyone else in the tournament. They also discuss the gulf between the top four and the rest of the tennis players. In cricket, the England-South Africa series is a highlight and Rahul feels that England needs a better opening batsman and has its fight cut out for it. They also talk about transfer money and the crazy amount being spent on players. All this and more on this week's Just Sports.

Listen to all our podcasts on the Newslaundry App.



Direct download: Just_Sports_Episode-_43.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:35pm IST

Three time US Senator Larry Pressler talks to Biraj Swain, development writer and international negotiations watcher, on his book Neighbours in Arms, An American Senator's Quest for Disarmament in a Nuclear Subcontinent.
In a free-wheeling conversation they discuss the Vietnam War, its impact on him, the origin of Pressler Amendment, its passing, dilution and demise under the leadership of three US presidents. He shares its impact on Pakistan and why it made him public enemy in Pakistan while a hero in India. They discuss their concerns regarding the capture of public policy spaces by military industrial complex, or the Octopus, the dangers it poses to governance and peace everywhere. They talk about the Indo-US civil nuclear deal. They conclude with the future of peace activism and complete nuclear disarmament and why Mr Pressler is not a dangerous pacifist.
Direct download: NL_Interviews__Larry_Pressler.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:48pm IST

The National Democratic Alliance announced former Bihar governor Ram Nath Kovind as its presidential candidate in the run-up to presidential elections next month, leaving the till-then united opposition in disarray.

Journalist and author Urmilesh joins Madhu Trehan, Anand Vardhan, Manisha Pande and Atul Chaurasia to discuss how media was left wondering on Modi-Shah’s choice for the next president of the country. We also discuss, 15 people arrested for sedition in Madhya Pradesh for celebrating Pakistan’s Champions Trophy victory, BJP spokesperson’s complaint against journalist Rana Ayyub for criticising its presidential pick and protests in Darjeeling and a lot more. Listen up! There’s a song dedication too.


Direct download: NL_Hafta_Episode-125.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:05pm IST

One of this week’s most significant stories was the attack on Amarnath pilgrims. A yatri bus and a police party were attacked in Anantnag along the Jammu-Srinagar Highway. Seven Amarnath pilgrims were killed while twelve including three policemen were injured after militants attacked on Monday. The Hafta team discusses the Indian media coverage on it. Hartosh Singh Bal, political editor of The Caravan, joins the regular Hafta gang, that is, Abhinandan Sekhri, Madhu Trehan, Anand Ranganathan and Manisha Pande to discuss this and the FIR against AIB's Tanmay Bhat.

Listen to all our podcasts on the Newslaundry App.










Direct download: Chhota_Hafta_Episode-128.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:06pm IST

This week Rajyasree Sen and Abhinandan Sekhri review Sridevi and Nawazuddin Siddiqui starrer MOM and Spider-Man: Homecoming. Sen and Sekhri also discuss Amazon Prime's first Indian web series, Inside Edge starring Vivek Oberoi and Richa Chadha; Meena Kandasamy's book When I Hit You, a book written by an anonymous author for Bloomsbury, The Incest Diary and the storm it has created before its release, a music video from The Hamilton MixtapeImmigrants(We Get The Job Done).All this and more discussed and dissected in this episode of the Entertainment Wrap.


Direct download: The_Awful__Awesome_Episode-_51.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:18pm IST

Amit Shah, Bharatiya Janata Party's president, called Gandhi a 'chatur baniya' and that kicked up quite a storm in the media. Did Shah's remark get unnecessary media attention or was it important to discuss the implications of it considering the position he holds? T R Vivek, journalist and author, joins the Hafta gang to discuss this, along with Ramachandra Guha's column in The Indian Express stating that Gandhi had transcended caste and a rebuttal to his piece by Newslaundry columnist Tejas Harad. Abhinandan Sekhri, Anand Ranganathan, Manisha Pande and Anand Vardhan, along with our guest, Vivek, discuss the Cauvery issue, farmers protests in Madhya Pradesh and loan waivers announced by the state governments. Are loan waivers a feasible solution? The team also discusses Information & Broadcasting ministry's decision to deny a certificate to three films for screening at Kerala festival and more. And there are two song dedications too.




Direct download: NL_Hafta-124.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:56pm IST

NL Hafta has gone behind the paywall, but we love our listeners. So, here’s a little sneak peak of the complete episode where we discuss GST roll out; is it really a 'One Nation One Tax', Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Israel visit, Sikkim standoff and more.

Direct download: Chhota_Hafta_Episode-127.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:11pm IST

Samar Khan and Rahul Puri are back with their weekly round-up of sports. They talk about Wimbledon 2017 where Samar feels that the final is shaping up to be between Federer and Nadal. On the other hand, Rahul thinks that if the weather is good, Nadal has more than a good chance.In the world of cricket, they talk about the England-South Africa series.Both of them agree on the fact that it won't be a difficult series for England. They also talk about the the Indian team doing extremely well in the ICC Women's World Cup and feel the women's cricket team should be an inspiration for girls in the country. All this and more on this week's Just Sports.


Direct download: Just_Sports_Episode-_42.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:41pm IST